The Taliban have tried to undermine every election since US-backed forces took power in 2001. The Interior Ministry claimed that 95 percent of polling stations will open on election day.
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai announced the creation of a council that he hopes will successfully convince members of the Taliban to lay down their arms.
The Afghan parliament will soon begin a six-week break, then prepare for elections, leaving less-influential acting ministers to govern.
A council picked Hakimullah Mehsud to head the alliance, two days after another senior figure said he had taken over. The announcements may signal infighting, which in recent weeks has led to bloody clashes.
As the government prepares for a major operation in South Waziristan, it's eyeing lessons learned from previous campaigns that were cut short in the face of weak public support.
Qari Zainuddin, who had been challenging militant chief and fellow tribesman Baitullah Mehsud, was shot dead Tuesday.
As the Army begins attacking South Waziristan, it has targeted hideouts of Baitullah Mehsud. Killing or even dislodging the militant chief could deal a severe blow to the movement, analysts say.
To bolster tenuous progress, the Army must push on to drive the Taliban out of Swat Valley, according to some analysts.
The tenuous peace deal with the militants comes under increasing strain as Taliban take areas closer to Pakistan’s capital.